CARO, Mich. - Chris
M. Buschbacher, a 17 year old student at the Caro Learning Center, managed
to walk into class with a .22 caliber rifle and a 20 gauge shotgun. He
proceeded to take the teacher and another student hostage.
fired a shot at principal Erl Nordstrom inside the
school, Caro Superintendent Dennis Anderson told The
Bay City Times. Mr Nordstrom said the bullet
"went right past his stomach, although he was not
hit," Mr Anderson said.
Chris M. Buschbacher fired at least 2 shots during the
hostages standoff. Negotiations with him lasted about 2:30—6:00 PM. During
the course of the afternoon, he exchanged the female student for a pack of
cigarettes. About an hour and a half later he released the teacher then shot
and killed himself as a SWAT team was preparing to enter the building. No
motive was given, but speculation abounds that he was despondent over
breaking up with his girl friend.
The teen had been attending the Learning Center for two
years because of minor discipline problems in junior high school, according
to Erl Nordstrom, the school’s principal. ''He was very low-key. To be
honest with you, I don't think I ever saw the kid smile. He was respectful.
He always said, 'Hi,'''[Certification
Mr. Nordstrom went on to say that one of the first
questions he wants answered is, "How did those guns get into the
Response Plan Training]
''We try to have things as secure as possible,'' a member
of the school board told The Saginaw News. ''That's just a real hard call.
What's warranted and what isn't? You always hope that there is not a need.''
Safety Site Assessment]
The alternative school is southwest of the village
limits, on the campus of the Caro Regional Mental Health Center, a
state-owned facility that provides residential treatment for mental health
patients. Caro Community Schools rents the building from the state. About
110 teens from throughout Tuscola County attend the high school, most
because of attendance or discipline problems. Thirty-nine adults attend an
adult education program in the 10-room facility. Six teachers, the
principal, secretary, custodian and aides were also in the building when the
standoff started. The school was closed Tuesday. [Kids
are the Keys Assembly](See
- A community violence prevention program).
again, we ask ourselves, "Could this have been avoided? Could it have
been predicted?" Keys To Safer
not have prevented this tragedy, but it can help schools identify trouble
kids who need intervention. For more information on how your school can
get involved in trying to find these troubled kids and get them help,
contact KEYS by email
or phone at the address and numbers below.